(CMR) Nine people, including three lawmen, were arrested after a plane transporting drugs crash-landed, and 25 bales of cocaine were seized in Belize over the weekend.
The men were detained as they allegedly transported two bales of cocaine away from the drug plane crash site.
According to local reports, the plane entered Belize's airspace at about 3:30 am on Friday and made three circles over the Hill Bank area before it crash-landed near Lemonal.
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said police were alerted to the crash site after seeing a huge flame in the area. The plane was destroyed by fire.
Shortly after the crash, police reportedly saw a boat in the lagoon moving at high speed heading west but could not catch that boat.
However, minutes later, a smaller vessel was seen coming from the same direction where they had seen the plane go down. The officers were able to take possession of the boat and went out into the lagoon, where they captured the second boat.
The boat, which was carrying two bales of what appeared to be cocaine, had nine occupants, including the lawmen.
Commissioner Williams said Tyrell Talbert, assigned to a Special Patrol unit; Byron Claire, police constable assigned to the canine unit; and Steve Roland, a Lance Corporal in the Belize Defence Force, were the lawmen arrested.
“They were armed, two of them had shotguns, and one had a 9-millimeter pistol for which they have a license, and again as a part of the process, it is my intention to revoke those gun licenses,” Williams said in an interview with 7 News Belize.
In a later search conducted near the crash site, the police recovered another 23 bales of cocaine.
Minister of Defense Florencio Marin Jr said that the lawmen's involvement in the drug trade was very distressing for the security forces.